George from Ghana

Drastic differences compared to Africa

George Sarkodie Adu from Ghana is studying Anthropology, Global Studies and Development at Aarhus University. He likes studying here, but coming from Africa it has been a huge change living in Denmark.

“In Ghana we consider everyone our relative. So for example, if someone sits next to you on the bus you consider him a friend and you ask where he is going and what he is doing. In Denmark you never talk to the person next to you. Often they just look at their phone or read a book.”

For George Sarkodie Adu moving from Ghana to Denmark has been a big change. Particularly in the beginning, he had to get used to the Danes’ behaviour and it took him a while to figure out that just because they didn’t talk to him, it didn’t mean they didn’t like him.

“Danes are very reserved, but if you ask them something they are always very friendly and willing to help you. You just need to know that you have to approach them, and that you shouldn’t expect them to approach you. Today I have many friends here and I like living in Aarhus,” he says and explains that before he arrived here he knew very little about Denmark.

“When I first started looking for a Master’s programme I knew I wanted to do a degree outside of Ghana. First I found a very interesting programme in international relations at the University of Reading in the UK, but it was way too expensive for me. Then my friends told me that there were also good universities in Scandinavia and they were often cheaper,” he tells and continues:

 “I heard about Denmark because of the COP15 and the University of Copenhagen, but though my research I found that there were actually many good universities here, and then I came across this degree which sounded very attractive to me.”

George Sarkodie Adu therefore applied and got accepted onto the degree. In addition he was granted a scholarship which meant he could afford to study here.

From hundreds of students to 23

Studying in Denmark is also very different from what George Sarkodie Adu was used to in Ghana.

“At the university in Ghana there were many students at each lecture – maybe hundreds! Here there are just 23 in my class, which gives the students a much better chance to communicate with the professor. And that is another difference – as a student here you have very easy access to the professors both in and outside of the class, which makes studying and learning a lot easier.” George Sarkodie Adu continues to explain that he likes the different types of exam here, even though they can be very challenging.

“Once we had an exam where we had to write a 15 page report within a limited timeframe of just two weeks. It was hard, but I liked it because it allowed me to get to know the theory and have a better understanding of the topic. In Ghana we would just read the text books but here it is expected that you find further reading for your assignments.”

Working in a NGO

When George Sarkodie Adu finishes his Master’s degree he wants to work in humanitarian work – either though research or in an NGO.

“I’m thinking about applying for a PhD - not necessarily here. I’m working with the Red Cross on my thesis so maybe I could do research for them later on. I have also thought about starting an NGO to help people in Africa to improve their reading and writing. I have already done this before I came here and had great success with it. I don’t know what I will do, but I know that I want to make an impact on people lives.”